Taxi mafias, cash vaults, and 100% MoM growth: The story behind Southeast Asia’s biggest startup | Kevin Aluwi (Gojek)

Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career

Mar 26 2023 • 1 hr 2 mins

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Kevin Aluwi is the co-founder and former CEO of Gojek. With over 2.7 million drivers and over 3 billion orders completed, Gojek is the biggest startup in Indonesia and all of Southeast Asia. In today’s podcast, Kevin shares the story of how Gojek overcame endless obstacles—including being underfunded, being unable to send drivers payment, and the local motorcycle mafia coming after their drivers. We cover the importance of brand, the value of doing the hard things, how to be super-scrappy, and helpful tips on building a tech company outside of Silicon Valley.

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What You Do Is Who You Are: How to Create Your Business Culture:

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In this episode, we cover:

(00:00) Kevin’s background

(05:00) How Gojek got started and the current scale

(08:35) Some of the services that Gojek currently offers or has offered

(09:37) Kevin’s thoughts on super-apps

(15:36) The importance of brand

(23:08) How to create branding with consistency across copy and design

(26:53) Challenges Gojek had in the early days that required scrappiness

(33:03) Why Kevin doesn’t believe in moats as a durable solution, and the value of doing hard things

(37:30) How Gojek hired private security to keep their drivers safe

(39:38) The value of founders doing and understanding multiple roles within the company

(44:12) How Kevin’s failed finance career led him to take a bet on building tech in Indonesia

(47:30) Tips on building a tech company outside of Silicon Valley

(52:09) What the market is like in Indonesia

(55:42) What’s next for Kevin

(57:41) Lightning round

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